Lost in the shuffle of the transition from realist to modern art, William Walcot etchings are rendered as he saw them: historical recordings, done in a delicate impressionist style, with shadows of a modernist touch. While the main focus is architectural, many of his etchings include people and things, taking the etchings from mere illustration and crossing over into the fine art realm. The delicate renderings are reminiscent of Lynn Chadwick or Giacometti with elongated figures and tapered “feet”. The sophisticated architecture gives us a recording of the day and the figures represent a foreshadowing of modernism. They also capture the era, with early cars and horses and carriages.
Included in the show are 9 prints from our Collection: 2 of New York, 5 of England, one of Naples and one of Egypt.
All are reasonably priced and in beautiful condition. We hope you enjoy these etchings from this worthwhile but primarily forgotten Impressionist.
William Walcot (1874-1943) was born at Lustdorf, near Odessa in a mixed Scottish-Russian family. He grew up in Western Europe and South Africa, returning to Russia at the age of 17, and studied arts and architecture under Leon Benois at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. Later, he attended art schools in Paris. Walcot's career as an architect in Moscow lasted only six years, but he managed to leave a lasting heritage of refined, pure Art Nouveau buildings.
In 1906, Walcot relocated to London where he worked as an architectural draftsman, famous for his artistic presentation of other architects' designs and exhibiting his own work at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions. He became one of the most sought-after English architectural illustrators of the 1920s and 30s developing his own impressionistic style in gouache and watercolor which won numerous commissions from the most renowned British architects of the period. He also became well known in printmaking, creating renderings of ancient Greek, Roman, Babylonian and Egyptian buildings, as well as contemporary scenes of London and other European cities. A folio of his work was published in 1919 as Architectural Watercolors and Etchings of William Walcot. He was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1913, as an associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1916, and a Fellow of the RIBA in 1922. He was also an associate of the British School at Rome.
In 1923 Walcot traveled from England to New York with his publisher Harold Dickins where he executed at least half a dozen etchings of Manhattan.
Impressions of this work are in the following museum collections: Bowdoin College, Cleveland Museum of Art, New York University, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Victoria and Albert Museum (London).